Michelle Loxton

Host and Reporter

Michelle Loxton joined KAZU in 2019. Her radio career started in her home country of South Africa where she worked in both community and commercial radio. Before moving to the Monterey Bay Area, she worked in the United Arab Emirates for almost five years at the Arabian Radio Network. Michelle has experience as a reporter, host, news reader and producer. She is excited to be working in public radio in the United States for the first time.

Ways to Connect

Monteret Jazz Festival (screen shot taken by Michelle Loxton)

For the first time in its history the Monterey Jazz Festival will be completely virtual this year. It won’t be live. Instead, it will be appointment viewing. That means from September 25, for three days, you’ll have to be in front of a screen between 5 and 7 p.m. PST if you want to catch all the performances. 

 

2020.census.gov

 


The 2020 census has been marred by challenges. Census workers across the U.S. are waiting to see when in-person counting must end. The Census Bureau cut counting short this year, but that’s currently being challenged in the courts. As we wait for a decision, KAZU News checked in with those responsible for getting a complete count in Monterey County. 

Natalia Jessen Fleschig.

 


Emotionally spent! That’s what many residents say they’re feeling now, after days of wildfires burning across the Central Coast. Some have fled their homes after being told to "leave now." Others had to anxiously wait to see if they would be ordered to evacuate. And then there’s those who defied evacuation orders in hopes of defending their properties.    

 

Red Cross

 


Not so long ago, people were told to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, thousands have been told to leave as multiple wildfires burn across the Central Coast. And because of COVID-19, emergency operations have also had to evolve. 

Michelle Loxton.

 

Over the past few days, the smoke from the River Fire burning southeast of Salinas has evolved. First, it was a huge mushroom-shaped cloud ascending high into the sky. And now, that smoke has descended into the valleys and is blanketing much of the Monterey Bay region. 

Salud Para La Gente


When you study COVID-19 data for the Monterey Bay Area, you'll notice a trend that is also present nationwide - people of color are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Locally, it's the Latino and Hispanic communities. 

 

Natividad

 


Anastacio Cruz spent three months in hospital battling COVID-19. At one stage, the Salinas resident was given a slim chance of survival. But he did survive. He and his family shared their story with KAZU's Michelle Loxton.

Michelle Loxton

 


The CEOs of four hospitals in Monterey County held a joint news conference Wednesday to announce a COVID-19 call to action. As the number of hospitalized patients increases locally, the hospitals have put aside competition to emphasize the need for public assistance to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Santa Lucia Conservancy

 


Wildfire season is very much upon us here in California. So far this year, CAL FIRE has responded to over 3,900 fires, which have burned over 34,000 acres. Managers of a small preserve in Carmel are hoping to change the way communities approach wildfires across the state by instead focusing on wildfire management and mimicry. 

 

@GavinNewsom on Twitter

California is now asking Monterey County to reclose a number of businesses. It comes after the state placed Monterey County on its COVID-19 watchlist due to elevated COVID-19 transmission.

Michelle Loxton

 


The opioid epidemic may not be in the spotlight these days, but it’s still very much present in our local community. Hospitals continue to see overdoses and the coronavirus pandemic is making the situation even worse. 

The Marine Mammal Center

 


Since mid-May, disoriented and sometimes convulsing sea lions have been showing up on beaches across the Central Coast. It has become an annual occurrence with warming seas and algal blooms.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office YouTube.

While much of the nation is confronting the ongoing killings of civilians by police officers, in Santa Cruz County, the life of Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was honored Wednesday. Gutzwiller was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

Mario Hoppman (AWI Germany).

 

In September 2019, a year-long experiment began. Publicized as the largest Central Arctic expedition in history, it was to be the closest ever look at the Arctic to better understand climate change. This experiment involves hundreds of scientists from around the world, including two from right here in Monterey. But it is currently compromised because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office

A vigil has been held for a Santa Cruz County deputy who was killed on Saturday. People gathered outside the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Sunday to honor Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.

UC Santa Cruz.

Adequate COVID-19 testing is seen as one of the key requirements needed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. This week, California health officials announced how much testing local counties need to be doing in order to qualify to re-open their communities.

Doug McKnight

 

Over the next three months, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers will converge on the Central Coast to do something deemed essential in the time of COVID-19, harvest our food. The speciality crops farmed locally, like strawberries and leafy greens, require a lot of hand labor. But the dramatic increase in population could trigger a surge in COVID-19 cases.

 

Monterey County Public Health Laboratory.

 

The Monterey County Public Health Laboratory has increased its COVID-19 testing capacity seven-fold over the last 5 weeks. It’s thanks to one graduate student who offered a helping hand, after a story aired on local public radio.

 

 

Monterey County Office of Education

 

Around 78,000 Monterey County students are no longer in school. At least not physically in school, but rather learning virtually or from a distance. COVID-19 has forced educators, parents and students to convert their homes into classrooms. And for some children with special needs, this new challenge has also created a unique opportunity.

 

 

 

Andy Boy

Many businesses across the Central Coast, especially in the tourism and hospitality industries, are slowing or have shut down. But that isn’t the case for one of our region’s most important sectors, agriculture. In fact, even with or perhaps because of COVID-19,  this industry is thriving. 

 

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